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Afterschool club reporting inappropriate sexual behaviour - help!!(37 Posts)
Please reassure me as I am in a bit of a state
I am a regular - judgeflounce, fruitshoots, vaunda, moldiegate etc etc
DH just came home from picking the kids up from afterschool club (2 boys, 7 and 5)
apparently the play leader took him aside very seriously and said that our boys had been playing "making babies" and had been lying one on top of the other and pretending to make a baby etc
she seemed very concerned that it was inappropriate that they had so much graphic knowledge etc and had questioned them about how they knew
I have in fact told both boys all about sexual reproduction and they know about periods too - I've always believed in answering children's questions honestly and without embarrassment and ds1 had read Claire Rayner's "body book" (which details the sex act complete with illustrations) by the time he was 5
I am now crapping myself that this is going to turn into a child protection investigation and dont know what the hell I can do about it
apparently when asked ds1 said it was a game they play with their friend X - X is a couple of years older than ds1 and has an older brother, so it wouldn't surprise me if she had a fair bit of knowledge, but I'd never seen or heard them playing any such games
but I do remember a chat in the bathroom about 10 days ago where ds2 asked me how the daddy puts the seed inside the mummy so it can meet the egg, and I told him the truth in a very basic matter of fact way (ds1 already knew)
am I in deep shit here? we are both really rattled
No you won't be in deep shit at all
Childcarers have a duty to keep an eye on things though and it will probably be recorded in your children's records, which you should be able to see. Have you seen the setting's child protection policy stuff?
I'm concerned though that questions were asked of the children, this is not what should be done.
Good God that's outrageous!!
Course you won't be in trouble. What a huge overreaction on their part!
thanks AK, I'm still shaking a bit here
Should add that both boys INSIST that they don't remember playing any games about making babies, they don't remember talking to X (friend) about it, don't remember anything of the sort. But I know it must have really happened because (a) the play leader knew X's name, and (b) it's a really good club, our kids have been going there for over a year and something like this just wouldn't arise out of nothing
ds1 got quite upset when we pushed him to tell us about it - we were very gentle and kept telling him that he wasn't in any trouble, but he cried and said he really couldn't remember anything
maybe I am overreacting but I am envisaging social workers arriving on my doorstep with accusations
I think she had a cheek quizzing him as to how he knew tbh. If she felt that they had been abused or had knowledge they shouldn't have then only people with the right skills should be questioning the children.
Please don't worry.
I would be reconsidering using the club if I were you.
it's greensleeves here by the way, just thought of this nn and thought it was a laugh, after wine the other night
I can't be angry with her for questioning them, I am too busy panicking about the fact that dh was pulled aside and "spoken to"
I know we are not meant to mistrust the authorities etc but this is giving me the horrors
we are both CRB checked (I've got two!) and run groups for children etc, I work in a nursery ffs
is it really dysfunctional and abnormal for children to play this sort of game? I don't mind telling the children that it's a private adult thing which we don't play games about, but I refuse to regret informing them in the first place - it wasn't an accident, it was a decision!
If they had any serious concerns, I don't think they would have mentioned it to your DH.
You ahve done nothing wrong.
I would be more concerned about the older friend who they were doing this with. Whose idea was the game? If your sons are younger then very unlikely they started this. The club is probably doing their job. Informing your DCs about reproduction is absolutely the right way to do things, imo, and I doubt that having the right information is what got this situation started. I would really be looking at the older boys to see why they are interested in this kind of play with younger children.
math the older child is a girl - she's not much older, but quite a bit more mature (my ds1 has Aspergers and can be quite infantile in some ways)
she is the dd of family friends who are going through a messy divorce - her mother is very dysfunctional, casual relationships and moving house every five minutes etc
her father is a closer friend of ours and when he has his dd for contact she often stays over at our house with our boys
they've known each other since nursery
is it not normal for kids to act out this sort of thing then? I feel guilty for letting this happen now
but the friend isn't at their afterschool club, she goes to a different school
the incident dh was spoken to about only involved our boys playing "making babies" with one another
I am going to bump this a fair bit, sorry everyone
I want lots of people to tell me not to worry (or tell me what the hell to do, if I should be worrying)
poor dh is horrified
thanks for posts so far, I really appreciate posters taking the time to read a long OP and reassure me xx
OOOPs misread, sorry. But they got the idea of playing the game from the older friend and say they have played it with the friend before? I would still say your boys are not the instigators of the original game, and also that perhaps the game they play with friend X has bothered them, or they wouldn't be doing it themselves. They're trying to process the 'game' perhaps?
mathanxiety I am trying not to face the fact that you could be right there
I have actually reported the mother of this child to SS before [horns and cloven feet emoticon]
what can I do though, if this child is being exposed to inappropriate behaviour etc?
horrible, horrible thought
but selfishly my heart is pounding that somebody could think something dodgy is going on with our boys, in our home
Try not to worry, the after school club would have informed you if they were going to do anything. 1 incident like this is not enough to make a referral. I would speak to the club leader, make them aware of how you see the situation, explain the books etc. The more up front you are about it, the better.
Your boys are just role playing a situation they have seen in a book, not having the maturity to understand how it would be seen to others. I really don't think, given how you have explained it, you have anything to worry about. Just keep a close eye on them when the girl comes to settle your own worries.
My DCs are quite a bit younger (4 and 3), and haven't had as much info as yours yet, but when they do, I wouldn't be at all surprised if they acted it out. If the subject (of baby-making) has been dealt with in a sensible matter-of-fact way, they have no reason to be inhibited about talking / playing games about it.
In fact DS and DD have recently been very curious about breastfeeding (esp as I'm due to give birth imminently) and they have been playing LOADS of teddy role-play games which involve the phrase "can I suck your boobies?" . I wonder what your after school club would make of that!
I think a)if the ASC had specific, serious concerns the last person they would be talking to about it is your DH. They would have been straight onto the Council's CP people as per procedure. What CP training I've had has told me you don't discuss serious concerns with the parent, unless it's something like asking about a bruise.
So therefore b) they were mildly concerned because no, lying on top of each other "making babies" is not your bog standard child's game. But when I say not bog standard, I'm sure it is played by a lot of children, and the ASC will know that.
So calm yourselves! You will probably find that the DSs' memories mysteriously come back over the weekend and that will shed more light on the whole thing. Otherwise, just tell anyone who asks what you've told us. It will be fine.
Oh god, how awful for you. It does sound like a massive over reaction. They were demonstrating that they know how babies are made, I can't see how that should cause alarm bells to ring. If a child was being abused they wouldn't necessarily associate sexual activity with reproduction would they?
WBSP - I'm the CP officer for an OSC and them having a word with your dh was exactly what I'd have done - don't worry it is standard procedure.
Not too sure about them questioning the children but then each setting will have its own procedures to follow. We'd have probably (very discretely) said something like "where did you learn that game boys?"
99.9% of the time there are perfectly reasonable explainations like yours. 7 and 5 are a bit younger than average for knowing the full on mechanics of sex so that's probably why it hit the staffs' radar. But if your boys have asked the questions then good on you for being honest with them (with as much info as you are happy they will understand).
Also the staff will have to be very aware of what the other kids are seeing (especially if they are not as well informed as your two ).
Our standard procedure now would be to just record it all on an incident form, along with your response and file it in the children's records. It should in no way reflect negatively on you and your dh.
It may be worth just having a chat with the boys about what is and is not appropriate around other children (hope that doesn't sound patronising). I'd also have a chat with the club leader to clarify the issue.
But please don't worry about it - if anything, it shows that the club staff are on the ball and will be quick to act if there were to be a child who did need protecting.
I'd be mildly uneasy about the afterschool club leader myself. Even if your DC were playing this game, the way you've described it sounds as though it's no more harmful than playing cops and robbers, or monsters and aliens. They weren't playing 'bondage and bumsex' which would be very worrying in primary age DC and there is no suggestion that either child was being forced, or hurt, or that they were going near each other's genitalia.
So it's possible that your club leader is some sort of fundy nut who breaks out in hives at the merest suggestion of sex education?
I would also be really upset by the officiousness of the staff . Deeply insensitive of them to imply that something like this is "wrong". And to reiterate, of course you haven't done anything wrong!!
i'd be questioning the leader too. tell her it's imaginery play
thanks for the reassurance, I am starting to calm down now
am upset that there will be an incident form or a record or whatever - it feels like a red flag or a blemish or something
I have just had a little talk with ds1 about always coming to Mummy or Daddy if he is worried about anything, and although he and his friends love to have secrets if he doesn't want to keep a secret and feels he needs to talk about it that he can always come to me
it's at times like this his Aspergers is a blessing, he is so frank and logical and easy to discuss things with
can't believe how much this has rattled me - but dh did look ashen when he came in, he's an ex-altar boy (ie a re-educated atheist!) and very shletered, I can only imagine how horrified he was when this play leader took him aside
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